SPECA: trade facilitation in the region discusses in Ashgabat

SPECA: trade facilitation in the region discusses in Ashgabat

The Days of the UN Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA) in the framework of the chairmanship of Turkmenistan in the SPECA are held in Ashgabat. Today, a high-level meeting on trade policy of representatives of the SPECA countries was held. The high-level event is organized by the government of Turkmenistan in cooperation with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe and the World Trade Organization. The specialists from Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan discussed the implementation process of the WTO Agreement on trade facilitation in the region, as well as exchanged the best practice in this area.

“Over the next days, we will discuss the opportunity of reducing transport-trade barriers between countries. It would enhance the regional market,” Mario Apostolov. Regional Adviser on Trade at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), said.

According to the expert, by the outcomes of the forum, it is expected that a package of documents will be adopted. It would address the application of conventions, legal norms, as well as UN standards to reduce trade barriers between countries and enhance cooperation in this direction.

Addressing the participants, the Deputy Minister of Finance and Economy of Turkmenistan emphasized the importance of integration the national economy into the global market. And today’s forum shows how the SPECA countries can cooperate to improve the processes related to cross-border trade, enhancement the economic situation of states, as well as trade facilitation,” the WTO representative Sherri Rosenau said. “It can be said that the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation is the basis of the SPECA regional strategy.”

As Ms. Rosenau noted, despite the fact that Turkmenistan is not a member of the WTO, the country can implement the provisions of the agreement to regulate border procedures, reduce taxes, identify bona fide traders and many other issues. Participants also discussed issues related to the cooperation with the WTO and the involvement of all SPECA countries in open multilateral trade.

The 14th session of the SPECA Working Group on Trade will be held in Ashgabat on November 19, and the SPECA-2019 Economic Forum will be held in Ashgabat on November 20-21 as part of the Days of SPECA.

Ayna BERDIYEVA